Skip to main content

tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  January 10, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm EST

5:30 pm
hi, i'm lisa fletcher and you are many the stream. what if instead of proeffect thing civilians they are protecting each other over crimes as serious as murder. >> what happened to tease guys. why are all all okay with this team. >> we will talk about the kiln team, that may inhibit soldiers about speaking out against injustice. plus, millions of dollars spent on anti-bullying programs with little to no evidence that they work. why it may be time for a new approach.
5:31 pm
>> a digital producer and co-host is here bringing in all of your feedback, you know these crimes they happened in 2010. soldiers were convicted but people are rightfully still hear fied and still looking for some accountability. >> you said hear fied these means these brutal murders were just shocking they are trying to figure out what caused this. who is responsibility, sew with have a wide range of opinions. mar they says the killing of any civil cabs is wrong, especially for sport. what has this world come to, she says we failed as a soto let this go on, how, michael says the soldiers they probably would be killers in their own neighborhoods in the states with the right circumstances, but a macro approach, she goes there's myths of war, us
5:32 pm
verses then, nationalism etc. which always have and will always decenttized soldiers. so a lot of talk about it. >> i think the why is one of those things that the soldiers themselves based oen the documentary can't answer. >> still to this day it is the fog of war. >> in 2010, a group of u.s. soldiers intentionally murdered innocent civilians by faking combat situations. they called themselveses the kill team, and they collected body parts as war trophies. they are the subjects of the documentary the kill team, which was short listed for an academy award nomination. >> how things are going to go, saying we will set this up to make it look like we are doing a movement, and this guy came out and attacks us. >> the documentary follows the struggle of one soldier who attempted to alert the military to the war crimes and says he was silenced. raising the question of whether the military promote as culture that
5:33 pm
makes it difficult for soldiers to step forward. the director of the documentary joins us now from photograph. and on skype out of los angeles, rachel associate professor at southwestern law school. she served active duty for more than 20 years and now specialized in international and military law. thank you to you for joining us. >> for those who haven't it is hard to understand this idea of american soldiers intentionally murdering innocent civilians. did their motivation ever become the least bit apparent to you. >> i think their motivations were very syringe, there wasn't one broad reason, or one simple reason. why they committed these crimes. it was different for everybody. and it was very complicated as you can imagine. and as you pointed out earlier, the truth or the facts even are sometime illusive in these situations.
5:34 pm
and so it is very much a haze of war situation, and i think you know one -- if i were to pen .1 factor that was consistent they were asked to build roads right. >> yes. and on top of that, they were initially slated to deploy to iraq, and then at the last moment, their missions switched to afghanistan, so instead of finds themselves in an urban environment, they found themselves in the middle of a dessert. >> the documentary foe cutted on two things this idea of whistle blowing and coming forward when something terribly wrong happens and the idea of war crimes. and part of the theme and the film is this idea that there is a culture, within the military, that inhibits people from coming forward. can you talk a little about that and from your
5:35 pm
perspective whether that exists to any significant degree. >> sure. i'd be happy to, but first i would like to acknowledge and thank all the u.s. service members that are serving in harms way and to thank them and thank some of the stark realities that we ask our soldiers to face every day on today's modern battlefield, what is amazing is that incidents like those portrayed in the film is meant for a stage killing don't happen more often, because we are asking our soldiers to serve in the most challenging environment, i think of modern warfare, in which the villains are often indistinguishable from the enemy, and in that fact, we have thousands of troops that have served without doing what these soldiers did, and that's because of rigorous training. the culture that you speak of the culture the soldiers are drilled from
5:36 pm
day one, to report law of war violations after the atrocities in vietnam, the defendant of defense established a very rigorous comprehensive law war program, in which one of the programs it focused on was multiple reporting channel for law of war violations so that a soldier would not feel they have to go through a chain of command, if, it was, in fact, such as in the movie the chain of monday that was leading these staged killings. so the the figure portrayed in the film, he actually was going to go to the chaplain, and then he lacked the moral courage, for many many soldiers on the ground face similar pressures, the lean between justified and unjustified killing is often blurry when you are fighting a counter insurgency. that's not new, and that's where it is up to the good leadership to maintain the bright line to preserve the moral integrity, as well as of course to protect civilians.
5:37 pm
>> i asked major mike lions he served before and mike said look, this was one unit, it was poor leadership, there were bad apples it is hard to paint the rest of the force with the same bad brush. the community looking at how this can happen, leonard says it is explained by united states soldiers being taught by their leadership, that they are owner superior men, and dave echos that. he goes oh the ubermensc treatment. to get soldiers to kill unarmed civilians, this is further complicated because of irregularity of warfare, the impersonal nature, for example, you press a button to kill hundreds of people. in the documentary, it was pass fating these gentlemen who killed these afghan civilians actually kept body parts they kept a finger of the first individual. and they were playing poker the rest of the friends they threw the finger on the cards.
5:38 pm
almost as an anti-ing up so obviously other folks within the platoon knew about it, what do you think from your research kept them from speaking up? i think it is very difficult -- you have to imagine yourself being a very young person, in a very remote and alien part of the world. surrounded by danger. you depend on everyone many that unit for your safety. for your security. the adherence of the group is what keeps you intact. and it's very very difficult to step outside that group, raise your hand and say i object to the moral direction this group is heading particularly when that person happens to be your squad leader. that's a very difficult thing for a young inexperienced to do. to go along with the momentum of the group and not try to influence the direction. >> rachel i think we mentioned before, and as you mentioned before, it is safe to say most men and women serve honorably
5:39 pm
in the military, but one of the most disturbing elements for me was several of the men said look, we're not the only infinity that is doing this. we aren't the only guys committing these acts we are just the ones that happened to get cause. following that, some of them were convicted but there were no officers top command who were held accountability, can you assess the response of top command in terms of the kill team. >> you bring up some terrific points that was one of the most troubling aspects of the documentary, and the incident, the failure to hold commanders accountability, at least in a more transparent way, a way to send a message, there was a comprehensive investigation conducted specifically into command accountability, but when the soldiers who all faced similar pressures of malaise and frustration, when they are operating under restrictive rules where was the platoon leader
5:40 pm
where was the company commander, where wasluth and the captain when they were told when they would see a dead civilian and ask where's the weapon and suddenly the weapon would show up, they knew or should have known, and that's one of the problems that comprehensive report remains classified but portions of it were leaked and rolling stone did a report on it, and it said that it found numerous failures in command, but then there was no follow up from the army at least publicly regarding what type of disciplinary measures were taken against those leaders. and that's a bit troubling. how, we should be celebrating the court marshal did occur, the criminal prosecutions that occurred for failures to report, as well as assault, as well as premeditated and unpremeditated murder. >> i am wondering if we will hear more follow up from the army, once your documentary is release. >> i am wondering that myself, i have been eagerly awaiting a response pressure the military. of course, i would love the military to embrace this as abopportunity to open a discussion.
5:41 pm
i think this could be valuable as a training tool. for officers, and i don't want this to be seen as an apresent, but rather an opportunity for a broader discussion. >> the community is quite cynical of the leadership and whether or not they will prosecute future crimes. for example, crystal says as a human what happened i see this as revenge, as a veteran i see it as a failure of leadership, do you trust the military to prosecute soldiers accused of criminal misdeeds, vern says heck no, the police don't prosecute their own, the military has it's own court, would have to have body, gun in hand, even then, they could use the quote just following orders excuse. >> is in defense of the military, once you are court marshaled it is very unlikely you won't get punished, thanks very much to our guest, the kill team premiers on pbs
5:42 pm
in the series independent lense, that is monday january 19th. coming up next, some researchers are calling for climate change, in america's schools. it is a new approach to anti-bullying initiatives that they say don't work or often are just for show, and cost you millions. >> "consider this". the news of the day, plus so much more. >> we begin with the growing controversy. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> why did so many of these people choose to risk their lives? >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> people are dying because of this policy. >> there's no status quo just the bottom line. >> what is the administration doing behind the scenes? >> real perspective. "consider this". monday through thursday, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
5:43 pm
the most important money stories of the day might effect your savings, your job or your retirement. whether it's bail-outs or bond rates this stuff gets
5:44 pm
complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down confusing financial speak and make it real. i am a former military officer. and i am on the stream. >> welcome back, in the past few years there's been a uptick the anti-bullying programs across the nation's cool and in 2012, the federal government spent $132 millions on grants to state and local governments. to combat violence and bullying of kids. the fact that 49 out of 50 states have some kind of anti-bullying laws in state, and we have a nation focused on preventing bullying but despite the hundreds of millions spent, there is no thad the main stream approach to preventing bullying actually worked.
5:45 pm
here to discuss this more on set is deborah, senior researcher at child trend as research center studying ways to improve kids lives. the research focuses on bullying and the school environment, and from houston texas, dr. stewart, psychiatrists and author of the book why school anti-bullying programs don't work. thanks to both of you for being here, so doctor, why don't they work? what's the problem with current models? >> well, first of all, they are too focused on bullying when the reality is the problem is in the school climate. example, if you have a nice day you can go outside and do what you want, and you don't notice the weather. but if it is stormy you are focused a lot on the weather. that's why climate was change. some use culture now that climate is complicated. but it's sort of like you can't just focus on one thing, and expect the whole school to companying. the fact is with bullying, the bully and the bullies victim are
5:46 pm
the results not the cause. and so if you treat those results, all queue will get a whole bunch of bullies and victims. >> so deborah, we are talking about focusing perhaps unnecessarily on the bully, on the victim these three strikes you three strikes you are out programs or specific punishments toward the bully, and got looking at the broader picture. >> that's right. i think one thing that we really struggle with is we think there's always a bully and a victim in a situation. whereas we know that kids don't pay one role, and bully is simply a behavior, it is not a characteristic, so for instance, one child might be a bully in a situation another might be a target in a situation, another might witness it, and they change roles very often. and so instead of trying to just treat veg students the school needs to focus on changes the climate around those behaviors. a lot of times kids are bullying not because they
5:47 pm
are been abused, but because it is part of social functioning. we know from research, that those who bully are pretty central to their social networks. they are what we would think of as popular, so they are using bullying as a way to gain social dominance, and if we don't give them alternatives to actually gain that status, to actually use peer status then we are not going to solve this issue. >> we told our community barack obama and the white house allocated $132 million to combat bullying we asked them if this is a waste of money or if it is useful, where is the money going, and then tony says the best way to curb bullying is to send bullies to prison scared straight program i remember dare, dare to keep kids off drugs we had the t shirt, i used to wear the t shirt, they used to say say no to drugs that same type of approach seems to be just say no to bullying ban
5:48 pm
bullying is that work. >> no. just as dare didn't work in the 1990's. the just say no approach didn't work, we saw an increase in drug use in kids. that went through the dare program. and so wen't can use the same approach for bullying. >> butly point out that the obama administration has done some focus on school climate, i think they have realized that a lot of the grant programs have been school funded focused, the way the schools implement is maybe different than that, and that's waywe have to address is how do we get schools to actually implement climate approaches as opposed to anti-bullying. >> so doctor, we are talking about the dare program, it didn't take us 30 years years to fig it wasn't working but we kept throwing money at it, we like to feel like we are doing something right? so if we have a three
5:49 pm
strikes policy, or throwing a lot of money somewhere, of me with have a ban, we are don't something, is that part of the problem that we feel like we are don't something but aren't looking at the metrics? it isn't the metrics i think what you have to look at is what the actual programs do in a sustainable way i do not think this is a matter overeager only. wayneeds to happen, for example, the federal government needs to look at sustainable programs. i would say programs that take at least five years and maybe in ten years are still operating as part of the school culture. the programs we started 12 years ago, the people running them hardly remember who we are, which we take as a sign of success. the program becomes part of what the school is and does the second point about researching a program and then suggesting a particular style.
5:50 pm
i think that is fought with difficulty, because one of the most important things about getting a school going with a program of any sort, is buy in. buy in involves teachers students, parents, and all support staff seeing the need for the program and what you will find over a period of time with the right sort of questioning, they will tell you what to do to get the school straightened out. when they do that and create a program, it becomes owned by the school and taken over as their own, not as the federal government, not as something to fight about budget and money it is their own program. we suggest they name it themselves and follow it through themselves. we have a couple of programs that are gems in the wilderness that have
5:51 pm
done it itself. it doesn't cost a great deal, but it takes time. and my point is, for focus on the schools themselves, knowing that each school is different there is no one size fits all program and allowing at least three years the ever the program to take off. most programs that are focus on curriculum, and changing how people think in an intense way, stop working when the money for the project runs out. and that recently happened in kansas with the program from finland and there are numerous examples of that occurring. the focus on climate has been something we have worked on for the past 15 years. and we have learned early on that focusing only on one aspect doesn't do anything at all the bystander group is the
5:52 pm
one that is the most important. >> and we will talk more about this holistic approach to stopping bullying when we come back, there is little doubt that bullying kids online, outside of school, can effect them in school, but is a new law that gives districts authority once class is dismissed a legal overreach? plus, facebook without the comment section, we will discuss alternative social networks that could combat cyber bullying.
5:53 pm
5:54 pm
and why a growing number of experts including our guests today beef they don't perform as they should. doctor, why these mane
5:55 pm
stream programs don't work. now we have a new law taking effect in illinois that allows districts to -- do they need to get a better handle on how to start bullying in school. >> i think they need to get a much better idea of what cyber bullying is. fundamentally, it is the same as any other bullying. it is a group of children, or a child trying to squash down another child's sense of individuality, and intention faulty, and how well that child can manage it. now, you can do it with the many many extraordinary tricks and gadgets that cyber bullying has, i mentioned to the -- that the trial we did in the late
5:56 pm
1990's, dedicated to a trial that hung himself, shortly f a being bullied. so i think the excessivability of people to all sorts of kick communication, makes it a horrendous process. if they try and get into harms from school ms. the relation between the home and the school better be pretty good. otherwise you will have all sorts of whining and enmos. >> they raise this idea of cyber bullying being associated with suicide. that's something you have addressed numerous times. is there a con nation betweened is and bullying and bullying causing the suicide. >> i think the difficulty is when we see so many cases where kids have been bullied and have taken their lives that we think that bullying is the sole factor and cause.
5:57 pm
i think we need to take a look. >> the problem with cyber bullying is that it is done outside the classroom. that is where kids are vulnerable, something needs to be done, and here are some digital tools. and this promotes a new apps like stop it, which is a very popular app promoted by the schools and the government there's also, this is the facebook paning, there's also the substance abuse and health services administration, as promoting a no bullying app to talk with your parent.
5:58 pm
to find inspiration, it is an empowering site. when i see thesele toos do you think that these tools can cool the digital climate? i think we have to understand the scope of the problem. it is the same picture we know there's a huge corelation between kids that are bullying and cyber bullied. it is simply thats is moving beyond the school building into as you said, the bedroom, the home. and i think it is very important to then realize those connections.
5:59 pm
when bullying is translated it's an indication that something is going on, a lot of times bullies the radar, school administrators parents, but suber bullying has the added benefit of having a record. there's also a facebook page, a text chat, there's instant messaging you can go back and find the record of those types. >> it is an opportunity for parents to be veg lent. >> exactly. >> i want to thank our guests and to all of our guests that joined us on the program today, until next time, ranch and i will see you online. lap
6:00 pm
>> in this sashlingsz from new york city. i am richelle carey. here are today's top stories. from around the world, an outpouring of support from this week's victims attacks in paris. people are searching for the widow of a slain suspect. a link between al-qaeda and the arabian peninsula and one of the paris suspects. also a pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist about his fight for free speech